Pillar 1Stronger Communities

At A Glance

Donated $2.1 Million

Contributed $2.1 million in donations to non-profits, food banks and strategic partners.

3.3 Million pounds

Alaska Commercial Company delivered 3.3 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food to 115 communities throughout Alaska in 2021.

1,000 Baby Food Boxes

North West helped ship and distribute nearly 1,000 boxes of baby food to Garden Hill, God’s Lake Narrows, Gods River, Lac Brochet, Tadoule Lake and York Landing in Manitoba.

$429,478 in Grants

Awarded $429,478 in grants in 2021 through North West’s Healthy Horizons Foundation to fund nutrition, education and active-living programs for youth, impacting over 60 Indigenous communities served by Northern and NorthMart.

Stronger Communities Overview


At North West, community has always been at the core of who we support. The communities where we live and work sustain businesses, employees and families. We recognize that our success is linked to their health and vitality, so our intent is to provide opportunities across our business to contribute to their prosperity. Given the breadth of our operations, our work spans from small community impact to a broad global reach.

With 226 stores across a broad geographic region and 7,524 associates, we have an extraordinary opportunity to support and strengthen our communities through our actions. We want to ensure that North West can be responsive and relevant to every community in which we operate. Through local community engagement and volunteerism, our stores and distribution center teams across the country support local programs and organizations that bring support to families and address critical needs in their communities. To maximize our efforts, we collaborate with local organizations and non-profits. Through these associations, we can gather greater insights into community issues and support solutions developed by those who best understand the local needs.

At the heart of our support is North West’s belief that every family should have access to affordable, healthy food choices. In 2021, North West made donations in excess of $2.1 million, plus significant in-kind donations to non-profits, food banks and strategic partners.

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Commitments, Goals, Performance, and Next Steps

COMMITMENT: Provide significant social benefit by soliciting opinions from and seeking opportunities to collaborate with community leaders, groups and individuals.

Goals Action steps Taken in 2021
Relieve food insecurity pressures by participating in regional Food Security Work Groups, by advocating for a stronger charitable meal system and by extending the reach of hunger relief and nutrition programs.
  1. Partnered with Harvest Manitoba and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to enable a donation of 1,000 boxes of baby food to Garden Hill, God’s Lake Narrows, Gods River, Lac Brochet, Tadoule Lake and York Landing in Manitoba.
  2. Alaska Commercial Company partnered with Indigenous leaders and organizations to continue the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program, which leveraging the store network, delivered 1,000 boxes or 3.3 million pounds of food to families across rural Alaska.
  3. Cost-U-Less partnered with Kellogg’s to raise $8,000 for meals to fight hunger in the Caribbean islands as part of the “Fighting for Hunger” campaign.
  4. NorthMart deployed $11,500 worth of donations in Iqaluit and utilized its logistics network for emergency shipments of water in response to a community-wide water crisis.
Build strong relationships with communities based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
  1. Engaged in ongoing consultation with political leadership
    at the national, regional and community level as the COVID-19 pandemic continued.
  2. Produced monthly update letters to each community leader including Chiefs and their Councils, mayors and Pandemic Committees and other stakeholders, sharing the current state of our stores’ operations, including safety protocols, pricing, staffing, product supply and strategies for circumstances impacting the community.
Work with communities and entities to develop transformative business and partnership opportunities and build mutually beneficial partnerships within communities that support economic self-reliance.
  1. Entered into and continued 85 leasehold business partnerships with Indigenous communities; compounding economic benefit to remote economies.
Develop store managers who are informed about the history, cultures and realities of their communities.
  1. Achieved 100 percent participation of new Northern/NorthMart store management trainees in an Indigenous Cultural Awareness program through our Training Centre.
Support important community events and causes, particularly those that align with North West’s Commitment to Reconciliation.
  1. Contributed more than $2.1 million in donations, including support during the pandemic.
  2. Continued to support the City of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, sharing commitment on the journey toward Reconciliation.